Enjoy Premium Content!
Breaking News. No Network. Only Alabama Football.
Subscribe Today
Alabama in the Pros

DeVonta Smith names Crimson Tide alum as toughest defender he has faced

Stephen R. Sylvanie - USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s Top 100 Players of 2023 will be unveiled in July via NFL Network.

NFL players vote on who they believe are the top 100 players in the sport.

RELATED: DeVonta Smith ranks his top five Alabama receivers of all time

Alabama football has a few players represented on the list each year, and nothing less is to be expected. DeVonta Smith, a former Crimson Tide wide receiver, enters his third season with the Philadelphia Eagles in the fall. As a former Heisman Trophy winner, Smith entered the same NFL Draft as his former teammate, Patrick Surtain II. The talented cornerback was taken one spot ahead of Smith in the 2021 draft. Surtain went No. 9 to the Denver Broncos while Smith went tenth to the Eagles in the first round.

He battles Darius Slay in practice for the Eagles, but Smith competed against Surtain in practices at Alabama and plays against him in the NFL. In an interview with NFL Films for the NFL’s Top 100 Players, Smith said Surtain is the toughest defender he has faced aside from Slay. Smith said the former College Football Playoff National Champion studies everything. 

“He is a technician,” Smith said about Surtain. “He is not going to fall for the first move. He is patient. He studies a lot. So any little tendencies you give him, he is going to pick up on it.”

RELATED: Patrick Surtain II records pick-six off Russell Wilson in Broncos OTAs

Surtain has become one of the best young cornerbacks in the pros.

He has recorded six interceptions while defending 24 passes in two seasons. Surtain, a former five-star in Alabama’s 2018 recruiting class, should be listed in the NFL’s Top 100 Players. He is showing himself to be a smooth student of the game.

Surtain made his first Pro Bowl and earned first-team All-Pro honors after totaling 60 tackles, two interceptions (ten passes defended), and a forced fumble in 2022. Denver’s defense should be better in the fall with him entering his third season.

Click here to follow the Bama

*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber-only content!*

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Facebook Comments

To Top